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March 4, 2014
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Thylacosmilus by Eurwentala Thylacosmilus by Eurwentala
Another one ispired by Mauricio Antón's book Sabertooth.

Thylacosmilus atrox was the most famous of the marsupial sabertooths. These weird predators lived in South America during the Miocene and Pliocene, when it was isolated from other continents and evolved a really weird and unique fauna.

The sabers of Thylacosmilus were so big they went all the way up the snout inside it's skull. The roots of the fangs are actually above the creature's eyes. It seems they grew continuously much like the incisors of rodents, which might work as a sort of insurance against breaking a tooth. Also, the bite of this 100 kg animal was apparently weaker than that of a domestic cat.
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2014
I have a feeling the sabre tooth design will evolve in birds.

We have sabre-toothed fish, gorgonopsids, therocephalians, dinocephalians, nimravids, felids, sparrosodonts, crocodiles, snakes, so a bird with pseudo-sabre teeth isn't too much of a stretch.
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:iconperfectchaos22:
PerfectChaos22 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
so if I got bit by it wouldn't really hurt because my cat bite me and it NEVER hurts and weren't these guys wiped out by Saber toothed cats like Smilodon?
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2014
No. 

It would hurt because it is the NECK that is driving the teeth, not the jaws.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2014
Umm, not exactly. :)

The bite of marsupial sabertooths was very weak, because they did not kill their prey by pressing their jaws together. They sliced the prey's neck (or some other soft and vulnerable part) open using their canines and their strong neck muscles. Kind of like a knife, or possibly a can-opener.

Current fossil record indicates that Thylacosmilus disappeared some time before feline sabertooths reached it, though that might just be because the record is incomplete. So yes, possibly.
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:iconsheather888:
Sheather888 Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This rendition is absolutely beautiful and just so very lifelike!
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner May 11, 2014
Thanks! :)
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:iconthebattycrow:
TheBattyCrow Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Funny, I just learned about this bloke over the weekend, from a five year old, no less!!
Quite a badass this guy!
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The marsupial sabertooth sometimes gets extremely exaggerated and long sabers and flanges. Nice to see a change from this, mwith a more normally proportioned creature
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014
Yeah, I was specifically attempting to make it look like a real animal instead of a movie monster. Mammals often have really, really weird and monstrous skulls, but the amount of soft tissue their heads have masks almost all of it.
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree, Mammal skulls are the worst. So much muscle and fur and lots of extra stuff covering them
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014
Yeah. Muscular lips and fleshy noses and external ears and everything.
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Tch, tell me about it!
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:iconalexornisantecedens:
AlexornisAntecedens Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014
That is very good. 
Also, a quick question. Wasn't Thylacosmilus actually not a marsupial, but a closely related metatherian called sparassodonts? At least that's what I heard.
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014
Thanks!

Yeah, it seems sparassodonts are not considered to be part of Marsupialia proper at the moment at least. They are a part of Metatheria, though, and could be called marsupials in the broad sense. The common name 'marsupial sabertooth' is pretty widespread, even though it might be a bit misleading.
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:iconalexornisantecedens:
AlexornisAntecedens Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014
Okay, thanks for answering my question! :)
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:iconsketcherjak:
sketcherjak Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
The world needs more marsupial sabertooths.
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:icontheflashisgone:
theflashisgone Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014
What is it about the skull that tells us its bite was weak?
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014
It's the muscle attachment sites. Their size and shape can be measured to reconstruct the muscles that were attached to them in life. You can see a comparison of the jaw muscles of a leopard, a saber-toothed cat and a marsupial sabertooth in this article: www.plosone.org/article/info%3…

The jaw muscles of saber-toothed predators are in general small compared to those of, say, modern big cats. Instead, they used their teeth sort of like knives, powered by huge neck muscles. Thylacosmilus takes that to an extreme, though.
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:iconpaleohyperspace:
Paleohyperspace Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So they would be good pets?
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014
Well, it depends. :) They could still slice your throat open quite easily.
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:iconviergacht:
Viergacht Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Nicely done. 
I need to get that book - I have his fossil dogs and cats ones. 
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:iconeurwentala:
Eurwentala Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014
Thanks!
Yeah, you should get this one too. My boyfriend has the dog and cat books, so combined we have a full series. :)
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